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HOSPITAL LINEN MANAGEMENT INTRODUCTION Used or contaminated linen is a potential source of infection to the susceptible patient.

It is reasonable, therefore, to require that used linen and patients own clothing is handled with care, with hygienic precautions taken, so that any microorganisms present are killed and removed before re-use. The removal and destruction of microorganism by a laundry process is achieved by combination of temperature, dilution (amount of water, size of load), and chemicals (detergent, bleaching agents). For these reasons laundry facilities and laundry methods must comply to ensure the correct amounts of heat, water and chemicals are used in washing cycles. CATEGORIES OF LINEN To ensure safe and efficient handling, used linens are categorized as follows: Clean linen Clean linen must be stored in clean, dry area. The linen must keep in cupboards and drawers, (not on open shelves) to prevent them from contamination with dust and microorganisms. Clean linen must not be stored in sluice or waste collection/storage areas Used (soiled/fouled) linen: White linen bags This category accounts for the vast majority of used linen (soiled by blood, feces or other discharges). The linen should be placed in white linen bag. When full, the bag should be swan neck tied and stored in designated in a designated locked are storage prior to being collected for the laundry. Where linen has become heavily bloodstained or where there is a potential for seepage due to other bodily fluids linen should be placed in a red bag, as per the procedure for infected linen. Infected linen This is linen used by patients with the following infections: Enteric (Gastro-intestinal) Infections. This would include infections spread by the fecal-oral route of Hepatitis A. Blood Borne viruses including HIV and where risk assessment necessitates source isolation. (eg. Bleeding)

Diarrhea of unknown origin Scabies when untreated Pulmonary Tuberculosis until deemed not necessary Patients with other infections as advised by the infection control team

Condemned linen In exceptional circumstances it may become necessary to dispose linen via yellow clinical waste bags. This should be done if soiling is such that it is unlikely to be removed by the laundry process available at site or for the particular item. Additionally linen condemning: used in the following circumstances may need

Linen used by patients with Rabies and other hemorrhagic fever viruses. GUIDNACE FOR HANDLING USED LINEN Gloves should be used when handling and sorting visibly soiled or infected linen. Skin lesions must be covered Hand washing should take place before and after handing the linens Armfuls of linen should not be carried around departments or to other clinical areas Great care must be taken to ensure that extraneous items are not put into laundry bags (eg. Face mask, gloves, aprons, incontinence pad, scissors and sharps) Laundry baskets should be cleaned with detergent and water after containing fouled linen or last weekly PROPER DISPOSAL AND SEGREGATION OF USED LINEN Used linen are categorized by CLEAN LINEN (DRY), SOILED (WET) and INFECTIOUS LINEN and should be properly segregated to the designated linen hampers provided by the Hospital.

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